An article, or rather, two articles in About.com, by Megan Romer has prompted me to clarify chutney music and soca. No offense to the writer, but I have read many articles that carry a misconception of what exactly is chutney music, and in this instance, the same goes for soca. Research usually clarifies such dubiousness. Chutney music must not be confused with chutney soca, nor should soca be confused with calypso and classical Indian music. These are completely different genres and researchers must invest time to know the difference.
How do I know this? I was born in chutney country, my deceased grand-father having sang the same daily sitting on a phall spread on the freshly leepayed ground under the house, and me, a toddler trying to stick my fingers into the folds of the harmonium while he played and sang with his eyes closed. And of course, his companions gathered around him, one of them beating the dhantal, a straight steel rod with another piece of steel shaped like a U, and yet another on the dholak, the oval-shaped instrument clamped beneath one knee, his finger, eight of them, slapping the goat skin covers to produce a sharp basslike sound. He too, at one time, had performed on Mastana Bahar, as a soloist, not placing but winning admiration from friends. And such is my connection with chutney, as well as chutney soca, calypso, soca, steel pan and everything cultural that originated in Trinidad.
Hopefully, many will read this excerpt and chutney music will be defined appropriately.